Christopher West is a graduate student in biology. His associate a Dr. Kinsley has developed a matter transportation beam and is using it in a project to drill deep into the earth. While visiting him they are surprised when the drill breaks into a cave that is inhabited. The primitive inhabitants start to worship the drill and are going to offer up human sacrifices.
Chris springs into action. He grabs a fire axe and uses the matter transmitter to teleport him to the cave. There he rescues a beautiful woman named Var-na. They escape to her village and Chris finds out that he is the land of Pellucidar the inner world.
He is called Red Axe after his weapon and settles into an idyllic life among his new friends. Later representatives from the cave tribe arrive with a message from the gods. Chris decides to go back to tell his friends about his discovery and with his mate Var-na head back to the cave.
They are betrayed, captured and sold to the Mahars. Taken to this race of intelligent reptiles city the two are made slaves. The book then deals with Red Axe’s efforts to free him and his friends from the Mahar city.
One of the few books authorized by the Burroughs estate I found it an interesting book. Holmes stays true to the spirit of the world Burroughs created yet adds his own unique style. It takes place in a different part of Pellucidar so there is none of the characters from the series. He is supposed to have written a sequel called Red Ax of Pellucidar but the Burroughs estate blocked it in a dispute. I hope some day to read it. Holmes reinvigorated the series in a new direction.